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Michal Holčapek

The Power List 2020 – Europe

Professor, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice, Czech Republic

Reason for pursuing analytical science: Analyzing the quality and quantity of unknown samples was always something that fascinated me. But an important factor in my pursuit of analytical science was also the enthusiasm of my teachers at the University of Pardubice at the time – some of them world leading scientists, others skillful practitioners in laboratory courses, and all of them stimulated by interest. I try to motivate my students and postdocs to have the same fascination in analytical chemistry now.

Future of the field: In lipidomic analysis, I think we’ll see routine quantitation of numerous lipids and metabolites in a highly automated fashion, as well as their correlation with metabolic pathways. Unlike now, individual lipid species will be taken into account, not just lipid classes. Having a comprehensive quantitative metabolomic profile will take us one step closer to truly personalized medicine – nowadays this is just a dream, but I hope that it will be common practice in 20 years’ time.

Advice to younger self: My advice to my younger self (and others as well) would be to enjoy both scientific and personal life as much as you can, because time is passing so quickly. I have, and I have no regrets – except perhaps that my duties mean I can’t practice sport as much as I could 20 years ago… understandable, but not easy to accept as a competitive character!

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